I have gestational diabetes. Do I need to watch what I eat?
Yes. Consuming well helps all women stay healthy during pregnancy. However if you have gestational diabetes, picking the right food to eat is a lot more important. That’s because numerous women with gestational diabetes can manage their condition by following a healthy eating plan, monitoring their blood glucose, and exercising regularly.
Keeping your blood sugar level stable by eating healthy food and exercising makes it less likely that you’ll require medication to control your condition. You and your baby are also less likely to have any complications from your condition.
Seeing what you eat likewise helps you gain a healthy quantity of weight during pregnancy. If you were obese prior to conceiving, your healthcare provider may recommend limiting calories so you do not get too much as your baby grows.
Do I need to keep track of carbs?
Yes. The amount and kind of carbs (natural starches and sugars) in food impacts your blood sugar level levels. And with gestational diabetes, you’ll have to track your carbohydrate intake in particular.
Setting a limitation on the amount of carbs you eat at each meal is the primary step to managing your blood glucose. Your provider is likely to recommend lowering the overall amount of carbohydrates to about 40 percent of your day-to-day calories.
Try to eat carbs that are high in fiber. Fibrous foods are more difficult to absorb.
Entire grains are high in fiber, so choosing brown rice and whole grain bread rather of refined versions (white bread and rice) means that they take longer to digest and launch sugar more slowly into your bloodstream. Vegetables, beans, lentils, and chickpeas are also high in fiber and release sugar into your blood slowly.
Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugarcoated, such as candy, cakes, and sodas. If you’re yearning something sweet, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) are fine in small amounts.
Lean proteins should make up about 20 percent of what you eat every day. Fish, lean meat, and low-fat milk and dairy products are healthy protein options.
The rest of your calories must originate from healthy (unsaturated) fats, such as olive oil. That’s about 40 percent of your day-to-day calories.
Prevent unhealthy (saturated) fats, such as butter, and trans (hydrogenated) fats, like those discovered in processed foods. Foods like all-natural peanut butter are high in healthy fat and a good source of protein, but inspect labels because peanut butter can have trans fat.
If all this seems overwhelming, know that you do not have to make these modifications on your own. Your supplier will provide you plenty of information to guide you when making food choices. She can likewise refer you to a registered dietitian to help with meal preparation.
How can I keep my blood sugar stable?
When you’re attempting to manage gestational diabetes, what you eat isn’t the only factor to consider. How when you eat is necessary too.
The goal is to keep your blood sugar even and prevent the spikes that result in blood glucose going up. This is a lot more critical if you do need to take medications to manage your diabetes.
Having some protein at each meal can assist stabilize blood sugar level. For example, eating a little part of entire grain cooked cereal (like oatmeal) with an egg or yogurt at breakfast can balance your meal and avoid blood sugar spikes. All-natural peanut butter on entire wheat toast is another excellent alternative.
Have 3 small meals, plus two to four healthy treats, every day to keep your blood sugar level stable. Attempt to space these out equally so you eat something every 2 to 3 hours. Having a treat prior to bedtime is specifically crucial to keep your blood sugar levels from falling overnight.
Repeated blood sugar level spikes mean gestational diabetes is unchecked, which can result in illness for you and your baby.
What are low glycemic index foods?
The glycemic index (GI) ranks foods that contain carbohydrates based upon how quickly they launch energy, in the form of glucose, into your blood.
Foods with a low glycemic index provide a continual release of energy. Because they take some time to absorb and turn to glucose slowly, foods short on the glycemic index are less most likely to cause spikes in blood sugar and can assist to manage blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, foods high up on the glycemic index are absorbed quickly and turn to glucose quicker. This can make your blood sugar increase not long after meals.
Learning about the GI of some foods can help you plan meals when you’re pregnant. But the GI of foods can be impacted by many things, such as manufacturing process, combination of components, ripeness, or how much it’s prepared.
See also: Gestational Diabetes Meal Plans
Usually speaking, foods that are extremely processed or cooked are most likely to have a greater GI, and foods that are raw or high in fiber have a lower GI. Extremely processed foods are the biggest issue because they tend to be packed with starches and added sugar.
GI strategies can be complicated to follow, and not everyone agrees that they are handy if you have gestational diabetes. But if you’re interested in learning more, ask your company for suggestions.
Low GI foods consist of:
- most fruits, specifically apples, oranges, pears, peaches, and mangoes
- vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, peas, yams, lettuce, cabbage, and carrots
- beans, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- brown rice
- entire oats, and whole-oat-based cereals, such as porridge, oat bran, muesli, and granola
- multigrain and pumpernickel bread
High GI foods include:
- fruit juice
- ready-to-eat cereal
- white bread
- short grain white rice
- russet potatoes
- instantaneous oats
- macaroni cheese from mix
- cracker crackers
- rice cakes
I’ve been referred to a dietitian. What can I anticipate?
You’ll get medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which is a personalized eating plan you’ll exercise with your dietitian. This will take into consideration your weight and the number of calories you need each day. A dietitian will speak to you about:
- how to count carbs
- how many carbohydrates to have daily
- when to take in carbohydrates
- timing insulin with food consumption
- the effect of workout on diet and insulin
- getting the minerals and vitamins you require for a healthy pregnancy
As your pregnancy progresses, your dietitian might make changes to your MNT based on the results of blood sugar level monitoring and how much weight you’ve acquired. If you have to start taking insulin, you’ll still need to follow an eating plan, but a dietitian will likely make some changes to take your treatment into account.